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Cut the unpeeled aubergine into half inch thick slices. Sprinkle with salt, cover and leave for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare the sauce. In a frying pan soften the onion and garlic in the hot oil. Add all the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove the bayleaf. Thicken with cornflour, if necessary.
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the egg and gradually stir in the milk to make a smooth batter. Wash the aubergines and dry thoroughly in absorbent paper.
Dip the aubergine in batter and drain any excess.
With the basket already lowered into the hot oil, fry in batches for 3 - 4 minutes at 190°C until crisp and golden. Serve with sauce.